When someone suffers from a food allergy or food intolerance they automatically think that the solution is to remove the suspect food from their diet altogether. Although this does improve the symptoms a worrying concern is that my removing or restricting certain foods the person does not replace it with an alternative or suitable replacement.
The problem with removing foods from the diet is that nutrient deficiencies could occur leading to poorer health and illnesses.
Dairy products are often identified as a cause of a food allergy or food intolerance and people reduce their consumption of milk and dairy foods or remove them completely from their diets.
The problem with this is dairy foods are most peoples main source of calcium. A healthy intake of calcium is linked to lower rates of osteoporosis and other bone related illnesses.
Milk and dairy is also a major source of Vitamin D and a deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to heart disease and cancer.
It is therefore important that if you remove milk and dairy products from your diet that you find suitablre alternatives. So what options are available?
Instead of Milk
Instead of drinking milk look out for products such as Soy Milk, Rice Milk or Lactose free milk. Lactose free milk is still made from cow's milk, but it is altered so that its lactose levels are much lower.
Instead of Milk Chocolate
Instead of eating milk chocolate try chocolate made from carob, soy or rice milk. The difference in taste is marginal and you can try different brands until you find one which tastes great.
Instead of Ice Cream
Instead of eating milk based ice cream look out for soya based frozen desserts which come in all the popular ice cream flavours.
Instead of Cheese
Instead of cheese there are many different brands of dairy free cheeses made from soya. Some do not melt as well when the cheese is used for cooking, so you may need to shop around until you find the right brand.
Wheat is another common food allergy and food intolerance causing food which people remove from their diets. Removing wheat can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as reducing a persons fibre content. What can be eaten when wheat foods are removed from the diet?
Instead of Cereals
Instead of wheat based breakfast cereals look out for corn or rice cereals. Porridge or soya based cereals are also a great alternative.
Instead of Bread
Bread can be replaced in the diet with rice cakes, crisp breads and corn thins. A good variety of wheat free breads are also available from shops and bakeries.
Instead of Pasta
Instead of pasta look into trying rice, quinoa, amaranth, lentils or buckwheat (despite its name buckwheat is not wheat related).
Instead of Biscuits
Biscuits can be replaced with fruit bars, fruit fingers and different varieties of cereal or fruit biscuits.
If you are embarking on an elimination diet or removing foods from your diet due to a food allergy or food intolerance, take care to replace the foods you remove with suitable alternatives to ensure you maintain your health and wellbeing.
For further advice on natural foods and diets, visit Food Advice and Support
For food allergy treatment, advice and common trigger foods visit the Help for Food Allergy website.